Kennedys to Hold Private Cape Cod Wake for Shriver

Shriver was "the light of our lives": kin

Thursday, Aug 27, 2009  |  Updated 9:37 AM EDT
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Eunice Kennedy Shriver Life in Photos

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Maria Shriver presented her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Minerva Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

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The Kennedy family will hold a private wake on their Cape Cod compound for Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the sister of former President John F. Kennedy, who died Tuesday at 88.

Shriver's body was returned this afternoon to the Hyannisport, Mass., Kennedy compound, where WCVB-TV Boston reported the family will host her wake.

Shriver, who recently suffered a series of strokes, had been hospitalized in Massachusetts since last week and died early Tuesday morning at Cape Cod Hospital in Barnstable, Mass., where her family was holding vigil.

In a statement released by her family, Shriver was described as "the light of our lives ... who taught us by example and with passion what it means to live a faith-driven life of love and service to others."

President Obama said today Shriver was an "extraordinary woman" who taught the world that "no physical or mental barrier can restrain the power of the human spirit."  Shriver championed the rights of the mentally disabled and co-founded the Special Olympics in 1968. Her mentally handicapped sister, Rosemary, served as the inspiration for her efforts.

Get more: MSNBC, WCVB Boston

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